16 February 2015
Rhythmic gymnastics is one of the many disciplines that will be presented at the European Games in Baku this summer. Two individual gymnasts and group team will represent our country in this sport.
Gulsum Shafizade, a candidate for participation in the Games talked of her coming to the sport, her sport plans and much more in an interview within the project of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.
Tell us how did you started to do gymnastics. Why did you chose this sport?
First, my sister became involved in rhythmic gymnastics and later my mother decided to send me to the gym, as I was a very active and restless child. One can say it was the choice of my mother.
How do you think, could you perform in any other sport?
Probably not. Since childhood my life is very closely linked with rhythmic gymnastics, so I can not imagine myself in any other sport.
What do you think is the most important thing in any sport?
I believe that the most important thing is work, patience and faith. One must work hard every day during each training, to overcome laziness and fatigue. One must be patient and understand that everything has its time; believe in oneself, coach, and only in the best.
How do you deal with the emotions in the day of competition? Are there any special secrets of self-control?
Each athlete feels the excitement before performance, but for me it is a little bit different. Being at the backstage I'm a little worried, but when I go out on the carpet and hear fans' screaming - all the fears disappear and I perform with a great pleasure. What about the secrets of self-control - everyone has own secrets, and of course, I have them too. But then, they are secrets (laughing).
How dangerous is to be engaged in professional sports, or it depends on the sport?
I can not say that gymnastics is a very traumatic sport, but almost everyone who is professionally engaged in sports has injuries.
Do you have an idol in the sport?
My idol - is Daria Dmitrieva who won the silver medal of the London Olympic Games.
Tell us about your sports plans for the near future.
I do not like to plan ahead - time will tell. But I can say that the most important competitions of the year are European Championships, European Games and the World Cup, where there will be qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. I would like to represent my country worthily at these competitions.
What do European Games mean for you and how do you prepare for them?
European Games is one of the most important events in the history of world sport, and the responsibility grows twice, as they are being held for the first time and in our country.
If stay a little bit away from the sport - do you have any aspirations or dreams that you want to implement?
Yes, of course I have, after all, life after sport should also be interesting.
Are you able to combine sport with normal life?
No, but I'm not complaining (laughing).
Tell us about your family.
I have a very close-knit family - mother, sister and me. My mother is a military, sister is a coach at the national team in rhythmic gymnastics.
What do your fans usually shout, and want do you want to hear from them?
Before leaving the carpet, I am totally focused on my performance, and to be honest, I hear only one cries. After the performance, I begin to distinguish between words their chanting "Azerbaijan! Azerbaijan!" which gives me the creeps.
What would you like to tell them?
Thank you for that you are!